Archive | August, 2012

Merging Photos without Photoshop

23 Aug

When I saw the theme for Weekly Photo Challenge, Merge, the first thing that comes to my mind is the fusion of 2 or more photos. The next thing that comes to my mind is “How am I going to do it without Photoshop?!”

An idea came to me just now, that is to use Microsoft PowerPoint. But wait, I do not have PowerPoint too! Now what am I going to do? Luckily, I’ve downloaded Open Office some time back and I tried out the idea. Guess what? It actually works! Maybe the effect is not as great as Photoshop, but it’s not too bad either. 😉

Merging of times – Modern building and old castle

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Gary Ng of Gnostec Photography. What he suggests is capturing different elements in a single shot, which I did in my other blog post on A Traveller’s Song.

Advertisements

Inspiration @ an Unlikely Place – Work

17 Aug

A few weeks ago, I came across a YouTube video showing a painting with a rainbow background. Since then I’ve been inspired to do a painting with a similar background. I’ve been trying to think of ideas that are different from the original work but didn’t come up with any concrete ideas. It was only yesterday that an idea struck me at the most unlikely place and time – while I was at work! Don’t ask me why I’m thinking of my paintings when I’m supposed to be working. I guess our minds just need a break at times. 😛

Today, I’ve finally drafted out my inspiration. It’s done in colour pencils, marker pens and correction fluid. Hope you’ll like it! 🙂

Here’s the video that inspired me:

Am I Proud of Feng Tianwei’s Win in the Olympics?

6 Aug

My brother just asked me whether I’m proud of Feng Tianwei winning the bronze medal for Singapore. I told him very frankly I don’t really care because table-tennis is not my favourite sports. I added that I’ll still be equally indifferent even if it was won by a “true-blue” Singaporean. He walked away, obviously not happy with my answer.

I’m sure many Singaporeans who read this blog entry will feel a slight anger at what I’ve just written. Firstly, I must state the fact that I’m a “true-blue” Singaporean, my grandparents, parents and I are born and raised in Singapore, though I can’t say much about my ancestors. But then again, whose ancestors are not from other countries?

I can understand why some Singaporeans feel that they would have felt prouder if the medal was won by a “true-blue” Singaporean. What I can’t understand are those people who claimed that Feng played for money and don’t deserve the reward. Well, she trained hard, represented Singapore in the Olympics and won a medal. So, why doesn’t she deserve the reward? If it was a Singaporean who won the medal, can you say for sure that he or she is so patriotic to Singapore and isn’t playing for the monetary reward.

I must admit that I don’t like some of the “foreign talents” too as some of them really behave in an uncouth manner that is at odds with our culture. But still, I feel that in Feng’s situation, we need to be fair to her. She has played for us and has done us proud by delivering a bronze medal. So, let’s give her a break and welcome her victorious return.

Les Macarons

5 Aug

For the past few years, cupcakes were  a hot favourite with dessert-lovers. However, recently, they seem to have moved on to macarons. Macaron is a sweet meringue-based cookies made from egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder and food colouring. Usually ganache, buttercream or jam filling are sandwiched between two cookies.

Last week, my colleagues and I attended a macaron-baking workshop at cakelovecouture. Surprisingly, macarons are not very difficult to make. We all managed to bake decent-looking macarons that are also delightful to the palate. Of course, much of the credits should go to the helpful instructors who helped us judge whether the mixture was ready and prepare the oven.

Here’s the recipe from cakelovecouture for making the macaron shells. I’m making slight changes to the recipe so as not to infringe any copyrights. By the way, the recipe uses French meringue, not Italian.

Easy-to-make Macarons Shells

(24 shells; 12 filled macarons)

Ingredients

  • 38 g egg whites (aged for 1 day)
  • 28 g caster sugar
  • 40 g almond flour
  • 58 g confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of creamof tartar
  • food colouring (gel or powder)

Directions

  1. Sift the almond flour and confectiner’s sugar together.
  2. Whisk the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue whisking at medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Reduce the speed and add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar at a time until all the sugar has been added. Remember to allow time for the sugar to be mixed into the egg whites before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.Then increase the speed until stiff peaks are formed. Do not over-whisk. The meringue is ready.
  3. Pour half the almond flour and sugar mixture into the meringue and fold it in with a rubber spatula. At this point, one or two drops of food colouring can be added into the batter. Then pour the remaining flour mixture into the batter and continue to fold until the batter has loosened and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.
  4. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a No.8 tip or 802 tip and fill it with the batter. Be sure to leave a 1-inch space between the macarons so that they will not touch each other while they bake. Tap the baking tray on the table top to remove any peaks. A toothpick can also be used to remove bubbles.
  5. Preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. Let the piped macarons rest for 15 minutes or until the top layer is dry to the touch. Then bake for 14 minutes.

It is best to leave the macarons shells in the fridge for a day before eating. You can fill the macarons with chocolate ganache or buttercream. Or if you are looking for an easy way out, just fill them with jam. I think they’ll taste just as good. 🙂

Lunch @ Wild Honey

4 Aug

Two of my ex-colleagues and I met up to catch up on old times. After much discussion, we finally decided to have lunch at Wild Honey at Scotts Square. Wild Honey has another branch at Mandarin Gallery but the one at Scotts Square is more spacious and child-friendly.

Wild Honey serves breakfast all day long. So, if you are a breakfast-lover, you can now have it in the morning, in the afternoon and at night! This place is extremely popular and reservations should be made if you don’t want to wait too long to be seated. Not only that, you are given only 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to eat as the next batch of customers would be arriving to claim their tables. The timing sounds a bit ridiculous but I guess that’s how the restaurant ensures there’s a continuous flow of customers.

My friends and I ordered Portobello Road (toasted brioche with poached eggs and portobello mushrooms) and Scandanavian (grilled salmon fillet on potato rosti). The three of us spent about $80 in total which means it’s about $27 per pax on average. Slightly expensive for breakfast but the food really do taste good.

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Address:

6 Scotts Square 3rd Floor

+65 6636 1816

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.